Health News of 2014-07-26

Ghana to mark World Hepatitis Day

Ghana will, on Monday July 28, join the rest of the world to mark World Hepatitis Day in an effort to help reduce the rate of infection in the country.

World Hepatitis Day was established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its quest for a renewed commitment against a largely silent but persistent epidemic which had infected over 500 million people worldwide, with approximately a recorded death rate of one million persons annually.

A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday and signed by Ms Rebecca Ackwonu, Public Affairs Officer, Ghana Health Services, said it was sad that most persons with chronic viral hepatitis in the country were unaware of their infections.

“Effective tools are available to prevent infections with viral hepatitis, including Hepatitis B vaccinations, surveillance, education, screening and treatment,” the statement said.

It said the challenge was, however, on how to build the capacity to extend the interventions mentioned countrywide.

The statement cited viral hepatitis as an inflammation of the liver caused by specific viruses that primarily attacked the liver with the common types being Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D and Hepatitis E.

According to the statement sudden onset of general ill health, mild fever, yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, unhygienic conditions, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain are some of the major signs of hepatitis.

It urged the urged people to practice safe sex, use condoms, avoid multiple partners, avoid the sharing of sharp objects, and screening of blood before transfusion among other things to avoid catching the disease.

“Viral Hepatitis B can, however, be protected and prevented with vaccination and immunization at birth,” the statement said.

Source: GNA
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